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An argument for a postcolonial canon of literature for upper-secondary schools in multicultural Sweden: Course book analysis and didactic questions regarding the teaching of literature in the English subject
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates the possibility of a postcolonial canon of literature for upper-secondary schools in multicultural Sweden. It uses an in depth course book analysis as a basis for looking at didactic questions regarding the teaching of postcolonial literature. The main argument is that since no real guidelines exist neither in course plans or course books as to what literature to use in education at the upper-secondary level in the English subject, a postcolonial canon of literature is both an interesting and effective way of fulfilling both the English curriculum, and the overall larger goals of the Swedish schools. Teaching postcolonial literature is introduced as a method of bridging cultural gaps and promoting tolerance in a practical way in the form of multicultural education. This is of growing interest in a multicultural Sweden that faces challenges with immigration, especially since education is one of the best methods of social integration into society. Questions asked by the essay are: 1. Does a canon of literature exist in Sweden for the English subject at upper-secondary level? If not, are there general guidelines to be found on how to select literature in the curriculum? 2. To what extent do English 6 course books include/promote a canon of literature (if at all)? If postcolonial texts are featured, are they relegated to their separate area (i.e. treated as Edward Said’s “the other”) or do the course books include postcolonial novels in said canon? and 3. What arguments can be made for teaching a postcolonial canon of literature overall and in what ways does this argument fit with the GY 2011 course plan for English, and to a larger extent, some specific goals (mentioned in the introduction) of the overall upper-secondary curriculum? The essay finds that while this is certainly not an all encompassing solution to the challenges facing Sweden, the argument of including a postcolonial canon in the teaching of literature for the English subject is a small, but important, and viable way of fulfilling both the criteria of the English subject and the general criteria of the upper-secondary schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
Postcolonialism, canon, didactics, multiculturalism, syllabus
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22388OAI: diva2:970484
Subject / course
English language education
Educational program
Upper Secondary Teacher Education Programme
Available from: 2016-09-15 Created: 2016-09-13 Last updated: 2016-09-15Bibliographically approved

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